The Plant with a Bad Reputation

Mac Huisken

The State of Michigan fully and rightfully legalized marijuana for medical and recreational use on December 6, 2018. Having marijuana as a form of medicine is an important and useful contribution to society. Helping to steer individuals away from the man made prescription pharmaceuticals is a step in the right direction to stop addiction and accidental overdose.

“In 1996, California voters passed Proposition 215, making the Golden State the first in the union to allow for the medical use of marijuana” said National Conference of State Legislatures. In 23 years, over 32 states and the District of Columbia have made marijuana medically legal. However, according to the federal government it is still illegal.

Cannabis is a herbal drug that can be prescribed by medical professionals for various needs. Cannabis in itself has many medicinal purposes that are being overshadowed by the label of “drug.” Medical specialists have even been recommending marijuana for cancer patients to help with symptoms and today many people use marijuana for anxiety, chronic pain, nausea, vomiting, seizures, and dependency withdraws. Cannabis also serves as a better alternative to mind numbing antidepressants and could lead to lower rates of depression in America. This percent has climbed to roughly 18% each year according to the ADAA.

Some people are concerned about using cannabis to treat illness for the fact that it has a high psychoactive factor. Parents and guardians tend to be more concerned about this when it comes to giving the drug to children. Marijuana is comprised of over 480 natural components. The most well know are two substances called THC and CBD. THC is the chemical within the plant that causes psychoactive effects. The CBD in the plant has no effects of psychoactivity but rather lessens the effect of THC, according to The University of Washington. The THC and CBD can be separated based on the specific needs of the patients, which means even a child can be given strictly CBD oil and have no worries of psychoactivity.

Cannabis products can and should be legally bought at medical dispensaries where a medical card must be shown and the person buying must be 21 years or older.

Someone can medicate with marijuana in many different forms: edibles, oils, flowers, topicals and more. Edible marijuana products or even oils can be put in various foods for easier consumption for the patient. Oils have also been well known to help with tremors, seizures and more. They can be given to the patient by drops under the tongue or roll on topicals. Topicals are lesser known, these can be body oils or even lotions applied to the skin. The “flowers” of the plant are the actual buds of marijuana that people smoke/inhale into the lungs. Skeptics believe that people are going to develop lung issues the same way one would when smoking cigarettes, but this is incorrect. Lung cancer and other health related problems as a result of smoking cigarettes comes from the tobacco in the product. Marijuana itself does not possess tobacco.

Cannabis isn’t just a drug that is for feeling good and getting high with friends, it is an astonishing medicine that can treat more than people realize. The legalization of medical marijuana  is about so much more than the drug itself but rather the people that will be positively affected by its benefits. The government made a mistake by making marijuana illegal. The government could not only make money off of the dispensaries but fully legalizing it could reduce the number of people addicted to prescription painkillers. Michigan did a wonderful thing fully legalizing the plant, now it’s time for the rest of America.